Biography of Anna Dickinson
Famous American Biographies





ANNA DICKINSON (Anna Elizabeth Dickinsor), a noted lecturer and public speaker, was born at Philadelphia, October 28, 1842. Her parents were Quakers, and she was educated at the Friends' free schools in her native city. She early manifested an inclination toward elocution and public speaking, and when, at the age of 18, she found an opportunity to appear before a national assemblage for the discussion of woman's rights, she at once established her reputation as a public speaker. From 1860 to the close of the war and during the exciting period of reconstruction, she was one of the most noted and influential speakers before the American public, and her popularity was unequaled by that of any of her sex A few weeks after the defeat and death of Colonel Baker at Ball's Bluff, Anna Dickinson, lecturing in New York, made the remarkable assertion, "Not the incompetency of Colonel Baker, but the treachery of General McClellan caused the disaster at Ball's Bluff." She was hissed and hooted off the stage. A year later, at the same hall and with much the same class of auditors, she repeated the identical words, and the applause was so great and so long continued that it was impossible to go on with her lecture for more than half an hour. The change of sentiment had been wrought by the reverses and dismissal of McClellan and his ambition to succeed Mr. Lincoln as president.

Ten years after the cldse of the war, Anna Dickinson was not heard of on the lecture platform, and about that time she made an attempt to enter the dramatic profession, but after appearing a number of times in different plays she was pronounced a failure.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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